Okay, I'll admit it. There probably aren't too many people in the world with a quest to capture an aesthetically pleasing and meaningful picture of mussels. But I can't help it. I want a photo that shows how abundant they can be on rocky shores, how dense they can be...an image that highlights their interesting shapes and rich colors and the complex three-dimensional structure they create...a picture that encourages the viewer to think about how mussels change the habitat beneath themselves, making it darker and moister and cooler for so many other species.
This may be a lifelong quest! I find mussels very difficult to photograph. Here are a few of my most recent attempts (taken on 8 January 2012) -- three different views of California Mussels (Mytilus californianus):